Algarve International Circuit

BMW Z4 (E89) in Portimao
B09/60 Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 driven by Stefan Mücke in the 1000km do Algarve Race of the Le Mans Series 2009

The 100,000 capacity Algarve International Circuit (Portuguese: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve), commonly referred to as Portimão Circuit, is a 4.692 km (2.915 mi) race circuit located in Portimão, Portugal. With a total cost of €195 million (approximately $250 million), the project includes a karting track, technology park, five-star hotel, sports complex and apartments.[1]

Construction was finished in October 2008 and the circuit was homologated by both the FIM on 11 October 2008 and the FIA two days later.[2]

The circuit was designed by Ricardo Pina, Arquitectos. In October 2010 the teams agreed to add the Portimão Circuit to the Formula One testing roster along with Bahrain.[3]

In September 2013, the company that manages the circuit, Parkalgar Serviços, was taken over by Portugal Capital Ventures, which is a Portuguese state-owned venture capitalist, effectively placing the circuit under state management. The sale was forced by the debts accumulated by Parkalgar Serviços, believed to be approximately 160 million Euros.[4]

The circuit

The circuit hosted the final round of the World Superbike Championship on 2 November 2008.[1] On 9 June, the track was confirmed to host a round of the 2008-09 A1 Grand Prix season. The race was set for the weekend of 12 April 2009. On 10 October 2008, the Le Mans Series announced a 1000 km night race to be held at Algarve on 2 August 2009.[5] On 5 November 2008, the FIA GT Championship announced and 7th round of the 2009 season will be held at Algarve on 13 September 2009.[6] A Formula One test session, with the McLaren and Honda teams participating, was scheduled for 15–17 December 2008. Ferrari also ran at Algarve.[7][8][9][10][11] Toyota also tested at the circuit on 20 January 2009 in the first outing of their new TF109 chassis.[12] The circuit will also host the final round of the 2009 GP2 Series season in September 2009.[13] From 2010 it will host a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.[14]

On April 4, 2009 Max Mosley stated that based on the quality of the circuit it could integrate the Formula One championship under the guise of the Portuguese Grand Prix, as long as a commercial agreement with the Formula One Management is achieved.[15]

The circuit resembles old Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, mainly because of its constantly undulating nature. A1 Team Portugal's driver Filipe Albuquerque observed that there are big downhill slopes and right-hand turns after the main straight. He also commented that the track is good for overtaking because the circuit width. A1 Team New Zealand's driver Earl Bamber observed that there are many special turns with personality. He commented that the new circuit is a little bit dangerous like the old school circuits with a roller coaster ride. A1 Team France's driver Nicolas Prost commented that the asphalt is new and the circuit has little grip.

It has been confirmed that one of the corners of the circuit was named after former World Supersport rider Craig Jones who was killed in a motorcycle crash at Brands Hatch in 2008.

The First Episode of The Grand Tour "The Holy Trinity" was shot here in 2016.

Craig Jones memorial

On 2009, October 22, a tribute ceremony occurred, with the exhibition of a provisional statue, created by the Portuguese sculptress , representing Craig Jones on his motorbike after passing the finishing line. This statue will be the main part of a monument, already partially built, which also includes the architectural arrangement of the main access roundabout to the racetrack, created by Paula Hespanha and Portuguese architect Manuel Pedro Ferreira Chaves. This monument is a landscape sculpture, representing the main straight of a racing circuit, which extends up to the car park of the main grandstand. This large-scale artistic intervention serves to frame the statue but will also be useful as an access that will allow pedestrian approach to the statue.[16] The owner of Autódromo Internacional do Algarve and Parkalgar racing team, Paulo Pinheiro, declared: "it is a very special thanks to Craig Jones who will be forever immortalized in our memories. This tribute will keep alive the admiration and respect for the work of Craig in the motorcycling world ".[17] "This monument will ensure that Craig Jones will never be forgotten."[18]

The inauguration of the marble and stainless steel statue was expected to occur in 2010. If completed in 2011, this will be the only stone statue in the world representing a motorbike.[19][20]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Algarve International circuit launched". Archived from the original on 2008-04-11. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  2. ^ "FIA homologa Autódromo do Algarve". Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  3. ^ "Portimao set to join F1 testing roster". Autosport. 2010-10-12.
  4. ^ "Autódromo do Algarve passa para as mãos do Estado Português". Sul Informação. 2013-09-23.
  5. ^ "The 2009 calendar is ready!". Le Mans Series. Archived from the original on 19 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "FIA GT 2009 calendar announced". Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  7. ^ "McLaren vai estrear Portimão em Novembro". Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  8. ^ "Portimão: autódromo recebe McLaren Mercedes". Archived from the original on 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  9. ^ "McLaren plant Test in Portugal". Archived from the original on 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  10. ^ "McLaren confirm maiden Algarve test". Autosport. 2008-10-24. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  11. ^ "Honda to join McLaren in Algarve". 2008-10-24. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  12. ^ "Toyota to hold low-key TF109 unveiling". 2008-11-26. Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  13. ^ "Algarve to host 2009 GP2 finale". 2008-10-30. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
  14. ^ English, Steven (2009-06-24). "WTCC to Zolder and Algarve in 2010". Haymarket Publications.
  15. ^ "Fórmula 1: Max Mosley diz que Autódromo do Algarve pode integrar calendário". 2009-04-04. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  16. ^ "Paula Hespanha expõe estátua de Craig Jones". Hardmusica. October 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-04-09. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  17. ^ "Motociclismo: Autódromo do Algarve inaugura estátua em memória do piloto Craig Jones". agência lusa. 2009-10-23. Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  18. ^ "Craig Jones remembered with statue honor". Eloise Walton. 2009-10-30. Archived from the original on 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  19. ^ "Craig Jones statue unveiled @ Autódromo do Parkalgar Circuit in Portimao". admin. 2009-10-25. Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  20. ^ "Polystyrene my Ride". Fran. 2009-11-21. Archived from the original on 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2011-01-12.

External links

  • Official website
  • Track maps and history at
  • 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial, partially built, in the main access of the Algarve Motor Park - YouTube [1]
  • “Craig Jones remembered with statue honor” in Algarve resident (30 October 2009) [2]
  • “Craig Jones memorial removed” in Algarve resident (5 November 2009) [3]
  • (in Portuguese) ” expõe estátua de Craig Jones” in Jornal Hardmusica (October 2009) [4]
  • (in Portuguese) “Memorial Craig Jones em Portimão” in Atrox Mobilis – Motos e Mobilidade (22 October 2009) (contains a 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial) [5]

Coordinates: 37°13′19″N 8°37′46″W / 37.22194°N 8.62944°W / 37.22194; -8.62944